Global Challenge #2 – No Hunger
“An estimated 124 million people across 51 countries are currently facing crisis level food insecurity or worse.”
Conflict and insecurity were the main drivers in 18 of the countries where about 74 million people are in need if urgent assistance. Ending world hunger is a challenge that effects us all.
- Countries such as Yemen, Nigeria, The Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Myanmar were the most affected by conflict, political and social insecurity.
- Compared to 2017, the World Food Programme report revealed an increase of 11 million people in the number of food insecure population across the world. Combination of conflict and severe drought in southern and eastern Africa caused consecutive poor harvests in these countries already facing a high level of food insecurity.
- The worst food crises were in north eastern Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen and South Sudan where nearly 32 million people were food insecure and in need of immediate assistance.
- Moving into 2018, conflict and insecurity will likely remain major drivers of food security crises.
- Yemen will continue to be the largest food crisis in the world. Disease outbreak, economic collapse and war conflicts continue to drive food insecurity. Areas of Africa will continue to be in danger due to severe dry weather affecting crops and livestock production.
Solutions to combating hunger seems relatively simple and has worked in the past- get food to the people in need, when they need it. Humanitarian initiatives have answered the call for hunger time and time again, delivering food to the places in need, but this doesn’t necessarily mean there is now food security. A UNESCO study highlights that even basic education can make a huge difference
- If all mothers in low income countries had primary education, 1.7 million children would be saved from growth stunting, and if they completed secondary school, 12.2 million children would be saved from growth stunting
To combat world hunger and malnutrition, other organizations such as USAID and the WFP are trying a number of strategies to attack this problem. Through funding to colleges, researchers, both private and public sector across many disciplines challenges are already being tackled. The WFP funds innovation projects for entrepreneurs, students, visioneers to bring a philanthropic idea or product to life.
USAID has participated in delivering aid, tools and knowledge to many low income, food-insecure areas around the world. In Kenya, small, rural farmers who previously couldn’t compete with larger growers have accessed resources to boost their crop production and minimize the post harvest losses. In Zimbabwe, forward thinking men now collect water for the family instead of the woman. They have constructed hand washing stations, and are training the community in the importance of sanitation. In Sierra Leone women are beginning to learn to herd goat and sheep.
Here are some existing innovations that aim to solve the hunger challenge:
Food Computers in Jordan
The WFP (World Food Program) and MIT came together to create miniature, digital, personal greenhouses that uses technology and robotic systems to control and grow plants inside. This is used in Jordan because only 10% of the land in the country is suitable for cultivation. The device is also much more efficient than traditional agriculture as it use 70% less water and a quarter of the space.
Virtual Farmers Market
WFP innovations created an app called Maano, which is a virtual farmers market. It is an app based e commerce platform where buyers demand for crops and farmers surplus’ are advertised and traded. It provides a transparent, open and trustworthy space for small farm owners to buy, sell and negotiate fair prices. The app was launched in 2016 in Zambia.
This initiative in the slums of Lima, Peru, equips vulnerable households with the knowledge and tools to grow nutritious food while establishing local, environmentally friendly business and commerce. Similar to the “food computers” in Jordan, the urban gardens use hydroponic cultivation to grow plants in places where it was previously near impossible. Similar to Jordan, Lima faces a lack of fertile land to engage in agriculture on. Leveraging dense infrastructure and turning unused areas into small, efficient farms has proved to be an effective approach to encouraging especially women to engage in basic commerce and trade. Currently over 200 women have started their own urban farming operations, boosting earnings and tackling hunger.
The initiative is currently in a structure set up to scale and create business opportunities for more women throughout the country. To ensure sustainability, certain people in the community were chosen as “hydroponic coaches” to ensure the skills needed branch further than the initial pilot location. This is known as “Train the trainer”. Projects like this, although are at the early stage, are highly scalable and can be recreated in other vulnerable communities around the world.
ShareTheMeal is an app developed in Germany that allows users to donate $.50 to “share their meal” with hungry children, and provide them with the nutrition they need for the day to stay healthy. Since 2015, they have provided over 11 million meals to children in Malawi and Syria, Beirut, Jordan and Lesotho.
Despite these little victories, we’re far from close to ending world hunger. Millions of people still struggle for food every day. Using our PIE lab and PIE book, we challenge you to innovate, and find solutions to help end world hunger. Here are some examples of challenges you can use to kickoff your PIE innovation experience:
The Hunger Challenge
At Prepr, our goal is to give you the framework, knowledge and skills to put your innovation into motion, and solve a big problem. Our PIE kit outlines the base for you to apply to create a product or service to make a difference